lockdown

It’s happening: we’ve arrived in the era of pandemic-themed movies, and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is far from over. And I’m not convinced that it will be over by the time Doug Liman‘s pandemic heist movie, Lockdown, is released, whenever that is. But Hollywood is getting ready to mine the pandemic for all its storytelling potential, with Liman set to direct Lockdown, penned by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and set to star Anne Hathaway.

Anne Hathaway seems to have gotten a taste for the heist movie — and more inexplicably, a taste for starring in films written by her Serenity writer Steven Knight — with the actress in final talks to star in Lockdown, a pandemic-themed thriller to be directed by Doug Liman. Deadline reports that Liman has set Lockdown as his next project following the Edge of Tomorrow filmmaker’s outer-space blockbuster with Tom Cruise.

P.J. van Sandwijk is producing Lockdown with Alison Winter, with van Sandwijk reuniting with Liman following the Cruise outer space movie.

Deadline reports that Lockdown will be a much, much smaller film than Liman’s Cruise project, with an under-$10 million budget. Described as a heist movie/romantic-comedy set against the backdrop of the pandemic lockdown, the premise probably allows for it to be shot in confined spaces with minimal cast and crew. There’s no actor cast opposite Hathaway yet, though Deadline notes that there’s rumors that Cillian Murphy might be involved in a key role. Now, as ghoulish as a pandemic-themed heist movie could be, a Hathaway-Murphy pairing in a heist comedy might be too good to pass up. That is, if Murphy is actually on board.

I’m of mixed opinion on pandemic-themed movies. On the one hand, the coronavirus pandemic has left such a major impact on today’s culture that it’s inevitable that we’d get a deluge of pandemic movies. We’ve already had a few, some hit (Host is great, compact horror), some miss (Love in the Time of Corona looks…bad). It still just feels too soon. And while Knight is behind the creation of the beloved Peaky Blinders, I don’t quite expect him to handle a pandemic-themed movie that well after he so gloriously botched a video game-inspired movie. But Liman is a solid director and Hathaway is good in anything she’s in, so maybe Lockdown could be a worthwhile movie.

The film, which is being funded by Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios, will begin shooting by the end of September. CAA Media Finance arranged the financing and is co-repping worldwide rights with AGC.

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